MASERU – THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) has underscored the importance of finalising the national reforms process in order to develop Lesotho and its people.
Oct. 31, 2022
3 min read
SADC to leave no stone unturned towards reforms
Lesotho's new Prime Minister, Sam Matekane
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This, surfaced on Friday during the inauguration of the country’s new Prime Minister, Sam Matekane after he won the October 7 general election.
Speaking on behalf of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defense, and Security, Namibian President Hage Geingob said the completion of reforms should be high on the country’s agenda, pledging SADC’s continued support to Lesotho.
“When I look at the people, today looks like an Independence Day for Lesotho. This is a significant milestone in the history of the kingdom. The SADC Organ on Politics, Defense, and Security Cooperation will continue to leave no stone unturned in its collective efforts toward the realisation of the ongoing political reforms in consolidating democracy in Lesotho. Be assured that you can count on our unequivocal support,” Geingob further pledged.
For his part, the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa echoed similar sentiments, appreciating the progress made despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite the COVID-19 challenge, we were pleased that the national reforms authority successfully completed its work. The work of the reforms authority is best captured in the draft, the 11th Constitutional Amendment Act, the Omnibus Bill, which was presented to the 10th parliament before its dissolution in 2022. The reforms contained in the draft, Omnibus Bill laid a foundation for the future of Lesotho and Basotho.
“We, therefore, welcome the commitment of the incoming government to give priority to the finalisation of this important work. We believe that justice and reconciliation are within the grasp of Basotho. With the completion of the work of the SADC facilitation team, I am confident that the government of Lesotho and all stakeholders will give the same support and cooperation to the oversight committee established by the 42nd SADC summit to oversee the implementation of the national reforms,” Ramaphosa said.
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In his maiden speech as Prime Minister, Matekane said while the new government is confronted with the difficult challenge of having to move Lesotho from a growth model that depends almost entirely on the public sector to one that is driven by a strong and competitive private sector that is export-oriented, the completion of the reforms process is equally important.
“As Lesotho pursues this new growth model, the importance of expediting the ongoing national reforms cannot be over-emphasised. Lesotho’s journey towards political stability and tolerance has improved over the years following the resolution of the South African Development Community (SADC) and the Double Troika Summit held on April 24, 2018, in Luanda, Angola. I promise that I will spearhead the process to right our country’s historical wrongs and make Lesotho great again. We are equal in this task. It would be naïve of me if I were to imagine that the road ahead would be smooth. Certainly not, but change is an urgent imperative in our present situation,” Matekane added.